Bruce Mitchell graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1970. During six months spent traveling in Central and South America in 1976, he studied pre-Columbian art, including pottery, textiles, stone carving, and metalsmithing. While he was a student, Mitchell had served as technical assistant to wood sculptor J. B. Blunk in Inverness, California, working on numerous public and private commissions from 1969 to 1977. The technical and aesthetic aspects of this experience with Blunk influenced his own work in wood turning, which he began teaching himself in 1977. Participation in several invitational national wood-turning symposia provided Mitchell with additional training in 1979 and 1980. He returned as a teacher in 1980, 1982, and 1984. According to Mitchell, his "primary concern is to explore the expressive qualities of wood in order to create objects that transcend traditional forms of utility." He does this through the insightful understanding and careful control of wood and the changes in shape and texture it undergoes from a green, uncured state to a finished dried piece. Mitchell lives in Inverness.
National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)